If you have vinyl flooring, you might want to make the space cozier by adding a few rugs. Rugs can make a room look great, help to coordinate colors, make the floor softer and pleasanter underfoot, and generally improve how the whole room feels. However, there are a few things you need to be aware of.
Rugs can damage your floor if you use a kind that is unsuitable for your flooring, and if you’re not sure, it’s best to check first. You don’t want to leave large marks or cause a tripping hazard, so don’t just buy the first rug you see and toss it down.
Can you use polypropylene rugs on vinyl plank flooring? Unfortunately, polypropylene rugs are not suitable for use on vinyl floors. This is because the rug backing contains chemicals that will sometimes react with the vinyl, and may cause it to discolor. This can happen even though vinyl is usually tough and resists stains well. You shouldn’t put a polypropylene rug on your vinyl floor.
What Makes Polypropylene Bad for Vinyl Floors?
Polypropylene rugs contain a chemical that will likely react with the vinyl floor, and this reaction will often cause discoloration. It may reduce the glossiness of the floor, making it dull and unattractive. This reaction usually happens a few weeks after you have put the rug down.
In general, this reaction starts when the chemical is exposed to light, heat, and humidity, so it won’t occur immediately. However, as you use and walk on the rug, the floor will gradually start to discolor, and will look worse and worse as time passes.
This is frustrating, because polypropylene rugs are among the commonest and cheapest rugs available, and they are great in many situations.
They have a lot of advantages, being stain-resistant, hard-wearing, easy to clean, and moisture-resistant. They will protect your floor from spills too, preventing the water from going through the rug. It’s unfortunate that they are not suitable for use on sensitive floors, including vinyl floors.
What Should You Do with a Polypropylene Rug?
If you’ve got a vinyl floor and you’ve bought a polypropylene rug, you might decide you’re going to use it in spite of the risks. If so, you should buy a rug pad, which goes beneath the rug, and protects the floor from the damage done by the chemical in the rug’s backing. It reduces the friction, and separates the chemical backing from the floor.
However, this isn’t guaranteed to solve the problem in all cases. It’s best to be careful, even with a rug pad, as some damage could still occur. This is particularly true if the rug pad is thin, mesh-like, or if it moves from beneath the rug. You should be very careful if you’re going to use one.
If you’ve got a brand new vinyl floor that you care about the appearance of, it’s better not to use a polypropylene rug even with a pad. Instead, put your new rug in a different room with non-sensitive floors, and purchase a different one for your vinyl floor.
Polypropylene rugs are popular in basements, bathrooms, and other damp or cold rooms.
What Kinds of Rugs Can You Use on Vinyl Floors?
Fortunately, there are some rugs that are suitable for use on vinyl floors. For example, rugs that use natural fibers should be fine. Many people choose cotton-backed rugs or hand-woven rugs containing natural fibers only, and no strong chemicals.
You can choose any rug that has natural fibers, because these should not contain the chemicals that make the rugs dangerous. Look out for ones with a cotton backing. These will not be as soft or feel as luxurious as rugs with polypropylene backs, but they are a good option for brightening up or warming a vinyl floor.
Some people consider putting jute rugs on their vinyl floors, but these can also be a problem in some situations. Jute is a rougher material than cotton, and there’s a risk of it scratching your vinyl floor. Scratches aren’t easy to get out once they’ve occurred, so you need to be careful about this. A jute rug may be fine, but be aware of the risks.
You should also avoid rugs that are backed with rubber or latex, as these may also damage the vinyl floor. A wool area rug will often be a good option, but these can be expensive, so you may need to pay more for one than a polypropylene rug. However, they are more environmentally friendly because they don’t use plastic.
Should You Use Any Rug on Vinyl Floors?
Rugs have both pros and cons, so whether to use one will depend on your situation. Rugs can make a floor warmer and protect it from foot traffic and sun damage. They also look great. However, they increase the risk of slipping in some cases, and they are expensive and potentially damaging.
A lot of people add rugs to their rooms because rugs improve how the home looks, and they cut down on noise. They can be matched to your home decor and they are comfortable to walk on, especially in the winter, when your vinyl floor may be cold.
However, rugs are often harder to clean than vinyl floors, which can simply be swept and mopped. If dirt gets trapped under them, there’s an increased risk that they will scratch the floors, and there’s also a risk of the rug getting damp and starting to form mold.
The slipping risk is a big one, too, so you must make sure you put pads under the rugs to minimize this danger, especially on a glossy floor like vinyl. Make sure the rug does not move around when you step onto it.
Area rugs may seem like a great idea initially, but you should be wary about using an area rug on a vinyl floor, especially if it is polypropylene. Polypropylene will cause your vinyl to discolor, sometimes in a matter of weeks, and this damage will be permanent. Choose natural fibers or skip the rugs entirely.